Asset Management Software is a digital tool used to track and manage business assets. It allows companies to manage multiple assets in one place. Including software, hardware, equipment, and tools. Asset Management Software lets businesses perform life cycle management. Collecting data from asset purchasing to disposal. Helping to create mobile asset registers and plan preventive maintenance. As well as improve inventory management. An asset management tool also simplifies depreciation calculations. Allowing asset managers to track each asset’s ROI.
What Is Asset Management Software?
Asset Management Software is a computerised system used by organisations to improve the management and tracking of assets. It allows asset managers to build a detailed asset register. Helping to store all asset data in one place. Reducing the need for error-prone spreadsheets.
Asset Management Software can be coupled with various asset tagging tools. Including Barcodes, RFID tags, and GPS trackers. Also known as asset tags. As well as IoT-enabled monitors for machinery and equipment. Helping to improve location tracking and real-time data analysis.
An asset management system lets businesses store data on multiple types of assets. Especially those that are essential to day-to-day operations and generating revenue. An effective solution provides various benefits, including:
- Increasing asset visibility with real-time tracking
- Creating accurate asset registers
- Optimising the useful life of mission-critical assets
- Reducing costs associated with purchasing and maintenance
- Ensuring health, safety, and compliance
Common Asset Management Software Features & Capabilities to Maximise Life Cycle Management
Asset Management Software includes multiple features that help improve asset life cycle management. Including the ability to track physical assets, IT equipment, and fleet vehicles. Allowing asset managers to track the stages of an asset’s useful life. Including planning, procurement, maintenance, operation, and disposal. Data is then stored, monitored, and accessed via an asset register. The typical features of an asset management system allow users to:
Track and Manage Assets in Real-Time
The ability to track physical assets is made possible by affixing tags and labels. They include barcodes, RFID tags, QR codes, NFC tags, and GPS trackers. Each asset tag has its own benefits and suits different tracking environments. An asset tag enables businesses to keep track of their assets. Knowing where they are located and who is using them. Whether that be warehouse stock or IT hardware in offices. As well as seeing an asset’s purchase history and maintenance schedules.
Plan and Schedule Preventive Maintenance
To keep assets in optimal working condition, businesses need to effectively plan maintenance strategies. By monitoring the asset life cycle, maintenance managers can gather data on various factors. Such as useful life, condition, repairs, breakdowns, and an asset’s life span. This data then helps to build a preventive maintenance schedule. Enabling companies to plan for the maintenance of mission-critical assets. This reduces the risk of unplanned downtime and improves the condition of assets. As well as reducing costs associated with downtime and maintenance.
Build a Detailed Asset Register
Asset Management Software provides the tools to build an accurate asset register. An asset register consists of various data that helps to make better-informed decisions. Particularly when it comes to purchasing, maintenance, and operation. Asset registers include real-time locations, purchase information, and maintenance plans. As well as depreciation values. They’re available to users on desktops as well as mobiles, via a cloud-based app. Allowing them to be accessed at any time, whether in the office or in the field. As opposed to using spreadsheets, which can be error-prone and time-consuming.
Access Data From a Mobile Device
Mobile access allows users to access data from anywhere at any time. Whether that be field operators, asset managers, or maintenance engineers. Accessing an asset management system on mobile is possible through the use of a mobile app. It allows users to view, update, and add to an asset register when off-site. Devices with built-in scanners for QR codes and Barcodes can also update data on the go.
Track and Monitor Asset Life Cycle Management
Asset Management Software is key for tracking and monitoring the stages of an asset’s life cycle and taking a strategic and analytical approach to asset management. By having this data, businesses can make better decisions when it comes to the four key stages of an asset's life cycle; planning, purchasing, operations and maintenance, and disposal. It lets businesses know when an asset is running at optimal performance. As well as increasing asset reliability through maintenance.
Improve Inventory Management
Although asset management tracks equipment a business uses, it also monitors inventory levels. Asset Management Software can be set up to track inventory that moves in and out warehouses. Whether that be part of a supply chain or stock in a warehouse. Thanks to IoT-enabled tools and tracking technology such as Barcodes. All inventory data is stored on a shared system. Providing greater visibility to all users. Compiling an inventory of assets also allows companies to identify and remove ghost assets.
The Benefits of Using Asset Management Software in Asset-Heavy Businesses
Asset Management is the action of planning and governing a business’s entire asset inventory. Including acquiring, operating, maintaining, and disposing of. The management of assets, both tangible and intangible, consists of several factors. All help to monitor and track a business’s most important and financially reliant assets. Whether buildings, machinery, vehicles, or IT equipment.
Asset Management Software allows businesses to automate their asset management protocols. This results in several cost-saving benefits. Such as increased productivity and operations. As well as making better-informed decisions when it comes to purchasing. Other benefits that highlight the importance of asset management included:
Calculate Asset Depreciation Value
Asset Management Software makes it easier for businesses to understand the value of their assets. Asset valuation starts with the planning and purchasing stage. It then moves on to the worth of an asset during its useful life. Until an asset has a final value at the end of its useful life. Calculating an asset’s purchase price against its used worth gives its depreciation value. Knowing an asset’s depreciation value allows asset managers to make better financial decisions. As well as improve the accuracy of a company’s account keeping.
Determine Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
Depreciation value has a direct link to understanding an asset’s total cost of ownership. TCO is a method used to determine which assets are most valuable to a business. It is calculated by adding together purchase price, operating costs, and maintenance costs. Asset managers can know if owning an asset outweighs the total running costs. Making it easier to decide when, or if, an ageing asset should be replaced or disposed of.
Reduce Unplanned Downtime
A key part of Asset management Software is being able to automate data collection. Including essential maintenance data. This allows businesses to know total usage, expected useful life, and maintenance costs. Enabling asset managers to take a proactive approach to repairs and maintenance. As opposed to running an asset to the point of failure, costing up to 10 times more in repairs costs. Without a preventive maintenance plan, companies risk unplanned downtime. Causing outages of vital equipment that can harm revenue. Unplanned downtime can cost businesses $260,000 per hour on average.
Who Uses and Needs Asset Management Software?
Asset Management Software provides several tools for tracking and monitoring business assets. This allows it to be used in multiple industries and operations.
Property, Facilities, and Building Management
5 to 20% of overall asset costs are contributed by properties, facilities, or buildings. So, having the ability to perform effective property asset management can help. Businesses can record purchase prices, appreciation value, and depreciation costs.
Apart from the financial requirement, properties and facilities require planned maintenance. As well as cleaning, security management, visitor tracking and energy management. An asset management system helps to schedule, record, and report on these activities. A modern property management tool can provide a framework to:
- Develop and maintain an asset register
- Calculate appreciation and depreciation
- Schedule, track, and monitor maintenance activities
- Record cleaning activities
- Manage workplace layout
- Track visitors and occupants for safety and security
Software and Hardware IT Asset Management
Businesses can collect a lot of valuable data from their IT assets. Including real-time location, work order status, users, usage, and license renewals. An IT service desk system allows businesses to maintain an asset register of their digital assets.
Along with hardware, a key asset included in most asset registers is software. Software asset management helps to reduce the cost of software ownership. As well as optimise the number of software assets required and maintain compliance with vendors. An IT management solution can:
- Provide an on-demand view of IT assets
- Manage entitlements and endpoints
- Know the usage data of cloud and on-premise IT assets
- Ring-fence IT network infrastructure to be cyber safe
- Monitor compliance with software vendor contracts
Equipment and Machinery Management
Unplanned downtime of equipment and machinery can cost 3 to 18% of total revenue. So, businesses prefer to maximise the uptime of their machinery with asset management. It provides a framework that helps schedule planned, preventative, and reactive maintenance. This includes organising internal and external engineers and issuing work orders. As well as purchasing spare parts and planning for asset disposals.
A technology used in most asset management solutions is the Internet of Things (IoT). This allows equipment and machinery to talk to each other. Transmitting operating conditions such as temperature, pressure, and service status. IoT devices can capture this data and provide insightful reports. Helping to increase the uptime of machinery. An asset maintenance management system helps to:
- Schedule planned and preventative maintenance activities
- Assign jobs to internal and external maintenance engineers
- Order replacement parts
- Optimise maintenance costs
- Manage reactive maintenance activities
- Improve age and uptime of equipment
Stock and Inventory Management
Asset Management Software is often used to track stock and inventory. As well as physical assets such as buildings, properties, and facilities. As the UK Accounting Practice requires companies to declare their assets, this feature is essential. Allowing businesses to record all assets in one place, known as an asset register.
The technology used in tracking stock and inventory includes RFID tags, Barcodes, and GPS. Quite often, a hand-held scanner is used as well. Typically, inventory is connected with users, location, and projects. In some cases, it can be leased as well. Using asset management tools for inventory management helps to:
- Reduce and eliminate ghost assets
- Track leased and owned inventory
- Use RFID, Barcodes, and handheld scanners to tag, track, and monitor assets
Asset management tools help to track the location of a business’s fleet assets. The technology often used in tracking fleet assets is Global Positioning System (GPS). As well as tools such as Fleet Software. Asset Management Software enables fleet managers to gather various amounts of data. Including driver behaviour details, fleet maintenance plans, and fuel costs. Allowing fleet businesses to:
- Track vehicles and drivers in real-time
- Analyse and improve driver behaviour
- Reduced vehicle downtime through preventative maintenance
- Minimise maintenance, servicing, and MOT costs
- Reduced vehicle running costs such as fuel
- Improve the safety of vehicles and drivers
What Are the Different Types of Asset Management?
Every company has different assets that are essential for generating revenue. Whether that be software, physical assets, machinery, vehicles, or equipment. Because of the variety of assets, there are different types of Asset Management Software. Each solution provides unique benefits to the assets it is intended for.
Fixed Asset Management Software
Fixed assets are typically larger assets used in a business’s daily operations. They’re in physical asset form and listed on a balance sheet under Property, Plant, and Equipment (PP&E). Intangible assets such as copyrights and patents also fall into this category. They include:
- Buildings and property
- Machinery and equipment
- Office equipment
- Furniture and fixtures
These require extensive monitoring and tracking. This is because they’re the most expensive assets a business will invest in. Meaning asset managers must ensure a good return on investment. As well as making sure they’re always operational when needed the most.
IT Asset Management Software
An IT asset management system monitors software, IT hardware, digital, and cloud assets. It allows businesses to generate IT asset registers and build CMDBs. As well as improve network infrastructure visibility with capabilities such as service desk. ITAM software tracks assets such as:
- On-premise software tools
- Cloud-based software apps
- Routers and servers
Digital Asset Management (DAM)
Digital Asset Management (DAM) is the process of storing and organising rich-media files. Enabling users to easily locate and distribute their digital assets. Digital assets consist of images, audio files, and video content. Mostly used in advertising, sales, and e-commerce. Typical features required for managing digital assets include:
- Tags and categorisation
- Role and permissions
- Quick image and document search
- Life cycle management
- Sharing between teams
- Brand preservation
Digital Asset Management enables all digital assets to be stored in one central location. Also referred to as a digital library. This 'single source of truth' provides quicker distribution. As well as allowing access to more teams and departments. Without DAM Software in place, efficiency and productivity can suffer. 51% of marketers waste money and time by recreating and distributing missing digital assets.
Software Asset Management (SAM)
Software asset management tools manage the purchasing and usage of software. Unlike ITAM, Software Management Systems exclusively only manage software assets. As opposed to tracking IT hardware such as computers and servers. It enables businesses to:
- Track and monitor software licences in one single-architecture program
- Perform SaaS and software license management
- Gain insights into unexpected costs and expenditures
- Stay compliant and avoid unexpected software compliance fees
- Understand the life cycle of software content
Enterprise Asset Management (EAM)
An EAM tool aims to control and measure asset performance. Essentially allowing businesses to maximise an asset’s usable life. EAM enables businesses to focus on asset management, maintenance, and performance. Although similar to CMMS software, an EAM system provides functions such as:
- Work order management
- Maintenance planning and scheduling
- Asset analytics and reporting
- Purchasing and procurement management
The Difference Between On-Premise & Cloud-Based Asset Management Software
From a features and capabilities standpoint, both on-premise and cloud-based systems are similar. Although a cloud-based solution has an inherent advantage whereby data collected by humans and machines is stored in one commonplace. This effectively creates ‘one source of truth’ for your machine-generated and human-generated asset register.
|Asset Register||Excel Import/Export and manual data entry to maintain an accurate asset register.||Fundamentally the same as an on-premise system. However, if you plan to use internet-enabled equipment and machinery then any data they transmit to a cloud can be imported into your cloud asset management system. Some equipment can also be directly connected to your cloud asset management system.|
|Asset Inventory and Audit||Most suited when you do not require direct access to the system. i.e. audit via a handheld device or manual audits.||Most suited if you need access to the system on a smartphone or internet-enabled device. Since cloud-based systems are web-friendly, they adapt efficiently with devices of different screen sizes.|
|Asset Tracking||RFID, Barcoding and NFC tracking are efficient and well-proven. Internet-enabled tracking can require additional administration.||In addition to RFID, Barcoding and NFC tracking, internet-enabled tracking is inherently easier.|
|Planned and Preventative Maintenance||Planning and Scheduling, Work Orders, Job Orders, Scheduling maintenance visits and inspections are well-proven and efficient features. If you plan to use internet-enabled machinery and equipment then you may need to investigate how an on-premise system can collect data from the internet-enabled devices.||Browser-driven access on multi-screen devices gives cloud-based systems an edge, particularly when you require multiple-teams to co-ordinate in real-time.|
|Reporting||Server threshold levels can mean large reports may take time to run||Elastic capabilities of cloud servers mean faster runtime|
|Interface||On-premise systems are feature-rich and quite often more flexible and configurable than a cloud-based system. However, User Interface and User Experience can be dated.||HMTL- and CSS-led technologies make the cloud system easier on the eye. Also, the User Interface and User Experience tends to be modern.|
|Changing workflows and processes||Bespoke Changes tend to be easier as the system can be tailored to your needs||Bespoke Changes tend to be expensive and difficult to administer.|
|System Configuration and Business Continuity||Bespoke development is cheaper and easier to maintain in the long run. Access is dependent on your server uptime.||Bespoke development can be expensive and may require some administration to maintain Access is dependent on internet and your cloud provider’s server|
|Ownership||The data, the software and the server belongs to you||Only the data belongs to you. You are renting the software and server to hold your data|
|Cyber Security||Fewer recorded instances of breaches on on-premise systems. Please note hackers can access your network and get into your servers via the internet, so no system is 100% cyber safe.||Cloud hacks are widely reported. Typically, your cloud provider is more knowledgeable and better equipped and to handle a cyber breach situation.|
|Costs and Lock-Ins||Higher initial outlay but tends to be the cheaper option if you calculate all the costs for five years||It is important to appreciate that you do not own the software and space where you hold your data. Typically, lower initial outlay but overall tend to be expensive.|
When it comes to choosing between an on-premise and a cloud-based solution, six areas of cloud-based asset management are often overlooked:
1. Usage and Business Continuity
Most businesses migrate from spreadsheets when choosing a new asset management system. Spreadsheets typically don’t allow businesses to dynamically manage their assets, which are most often connected to users, locations, projects, and equipment. With any implementation or adoption of a cloud-based management solution, we suggest that businesses consider:
The Ratio Between Out-of-the-box Functionality and Bespoke
Out-of-the-box features are available as a standard functionality and typically include asset registers, asset details, fixed asset management, IT inventory management, asset tracking capabilities, and standard reports. Bespoke functionality revolves around specific details you capture for your assets. The level of detail required varies from company to company and changes as your business evolves. The ideal ratio is 85% Standard Functionality and 15% Bespoke Development.
Your cloud-based system is hosted on a server that is outside your office. Sometimes the server can have downtime which will affect access to your system. Cloud servers of Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Oracle Cloud, SAP Cloud, and many other big names have had downtimes. Whilst big businesses have load balancing in place, small businesses hardly have any alternatives. When you are considering a cloud-based tool, it is important to know the implications of cloud downtime for your business.
2. Evolving Asset Workflows
Small businesses are dynamic; they evolve at a faster rate compared to big organisations which means how you manage your assets can change every 12 to 18 months. For project-based companies, asset workflows are governed by the type of projects. For product-based companies, operational changes influence asset workflow amendments. There are cost implications to bespoke and configuration changes required for your cloud-based system.
3. New Features and Upgrades
With on-premise software, you typically have some sort of control on product upgrades. With cloud-based tools, upgrades happen at the server level which means you typically don’t have a choice. Some asset management tools offer upgrade choices but these types of upgrades are at the interface level rather than the database level.
4. Digital Access and Privacy
With a cloud-based asset management tool, it is vital to appreciate that you are renting the software as well as the storage to save your data. Once you stop the rental, your data needs to be handed back to you. This will allow you to leverage the complete benefit of a cloud-based asset management system whereby you can change the system without losing your data. Since most businesses hold customers’ data, you are required to be GDPR-compliant and protect their data.
5. Cyber Compromises
Whilst cyber-attacks on big businesses are widely covered by the media, cyber compromises at small businesses go unnoticed. With any cloud-based system, cyber-attacks can happen at the interface level or the cloud server level. When you are buying a cloud-based system, it might be useful to know where your data is stored; public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud?
6. Costs and Lock-Ins
Most cloud-based Asset Management Software solutions have annual subscriptions, with customers often commiting to a 3 – 5 year contract. It is recommended that you understand hosting costs data storage limits. Lock-in periods are mutually beneficial; buyers get stability and assurance whereas vendors get revenue. Get-out clauses and switching costs need to be clearly understood at the start, too.
Top 10 Best Asset Management Software Products
FMIS Asset Management System
FMIS provides a fully integrated fixed, finance-aware asset management and tracking platform. It allows tracking of assets across multiple sites. Product features include asset tracking, a configurable asset register and auditing capabilities. As well as barcode tagging and equipment loan management. The FMIS asset management system has been successfully deployed across various industries. Including oil and gas, non-profits, education, healthcare, manufacturing, government, and retail.
Assettrack Asset Management Solutions
Assettrac delivers a highly configurable asset management system. It supports the complex workflows of tracking revenue-generating assets. This scalable and flexible solution is packed full of features. Including asset tracking, asset register management, facilities and maintenance management, and stock control. Assettrac solutions are well versed across multiple industries. Including commercial and retail, manufacturing and industrial, healthcare, IT, and education.
Itemit provides an asset management solution for customers wanting to track up to 2000 assets. Deployed through iOS and Android mobile apps, Itemit is an asset management solution for on-the-go users. It provides the features for tracking assets, inventory control, RFID asset tagging, and accessing data offline. It is used primarily in industries such as construction for improving project management. As well as charities, offices, and food and beverage.
Vision Software by ACMS UK
Vision Software is an asset management and tracking tool by ACMS UK. It excels at managing audits and risk compliance across multiple sites and facilities. Stand out features include a comprehensive asset register and auditing risks such as fire and asbestos. As well as asset tracking, NFC vision tagging, and compliance management.
Nanolink Asset Management and Tracking Solutions
Nanolink delivers a cloud-based asset management tool that focuses on utilising Bluetooth. Helping to provide real-time asset tracking data. With other 500 customers, the Nanolink asset management solution offers many key capabilities. Including asset tracking, maintenance management, reporting and analytics, and third-party integrations.
Assetspire offers a highly configurable, cloud-based platform. Ideal for small and large businesses looking to manage and track their assets. Through tracking technology such as NFC Barcode, it has been adopted by various asset-heavy industries. Including real estate, healthcare, hospitality, and education.
Freshworks delivers an easy to use asset management tool. Centred around managing and tracking IT equipment. This service management tool is simple to configure and well suited to ITIL-aligned businesses. Key features include asset discovery, life cycle management, and contract management. Freshworks’ asset management system has been adopted in multiple industries. Including IT and software, e-commerce, education, public sectors, and automotive.
Real Asset Management
Real Asset Management provides a tool that focuses on tracking assets. As well as delivering key accounting and maintenance management capabilities. Features include logging GPS coordinates, reserving assets, and quick auditing. Its focus on accounting and maintenance requirements has allowed it to become widely adopted. Including industries such as government, education, and healthcare.
Bulbthings Smart Asset Manager Software
BulbThings is an asset management solution that allows users to track assets. As well as use powerful tools to generate insights about their assets. The app features lifecycle management and TCO management. Giving users a one-stop-shop solution for all their data and asset management needs. Its appeal to both small businesses and large enterprises has delivered solutions to various industries. Including construction, hospitality, healthcare, transport, education, pharmaceutical, and manufacturing.
Traclogik Asset Management and Tracking Solutions
Traclogic provides an experienced real-time asset management solution. This is achieved by utilising asset tracking technologies. Its comprehensive tools have propelled the Traclogik system into an industry-leading position. Especially when it comes to asset tracking and protection solutions. Providing visibility of assets has led to Traclogik being adopted in multiple industries. Including healthcare, manufacturing, aviation, transport, logistics, construction, and security.